Study Indicates COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe For Pregnant Women, Unborn Babies

Many pregnant women were unsure whether to get the COVID vaccine because it wasn't tested on pregnant women. A new study indicates it is safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies; KDKA's Kristine Sorensen reports.

Video Transcript

- Many pregnant women were unsure whether to get the COVID vaccine, because it wasn't tested on pregnant women.

- But a new study indicates it is safe for both the women and their unborn babies. I talked with a doctor and a pregnant woman who got the vaccine about the risks and benefits.

This family of three is about to become a family of five. Carrie Nedwidek of Ben Avon is pregnant with twin girls. She said at first she was unsure whether to get the COVID vaccine, but she knew that studies showed pregnant women have a significantly higher risk of death and complications from COVID. After talking with her doctors, she got the Moderna vaccine in February and March.

CARRIE NEDWIDEK: The hypothetical risks of the vaccine were less concerning to me than the known risks of contracting the coronavirus.

- Now, it's not hypothetical anymore. A new study from the CDC looked at more than 35,000 pregnant women and found the side effects were similar to those of people who are not pregnant. It also found there was no difference in pregnancy outcomes compared with women before the pandemic.

Dr. Richard Beigi, OB/GYN and President of UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, says pregnant women need to weigh the risk of getting the COVID virus with the benefits and risk of getting the COVID vaccine.

RICHARD BEIGI: They really need to weigh the risks and benefits of, in my opinion, a dwindling set of risk profile and an increasing benefit profile, considering that we know it helps prevent disease quite effectively.

- Dr. Beigi says this type of vaccine has been safe for pregnant women in the past. So doctors believed the COVID vaccine would be safe, too. And now research is showing that.

RICHARD BEIGI: We've never believed these would be harmful. There's no reason to believe these would be harmful. And now we're starting to see data that is kind of corroborating that belief.

CARRIE NEDWIDEK: It's so important for women who are pregnant to think about their own health, because keeping yourself healthy is the best thing that you can do for your baby and for your family.

- And doctors are waiting for results from this group of pregnant women on how they and their newborns do when the mom gets the vaccine in the first and second trimester. Those babies will be born soon, so we'll know more in the coming months.